What is the aircraft in this photo? My great uncle is in the back row second to the right. He was born in 1900, so I think this photo is from around 1920. I think he was based at Kelly Field in San Antonio, TX. Does anyone know more about the aircraft or the group in the photo?

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1 Answer 1


The close proximity between the pilot cockpit (the front cockpit) and the observer-gunner cockpit (the rear cockpit) suggests a Airco/ De Haviland DH-9A. On the related DH-4, the two cockpits were much further apart, with a fuel tank in between them.

Addendum-- "1,538 DH-4s were modified in 1919-1923 to DH-4Bs by moving the pilot's seat back and the now unpressurized gas tank forward, correcting the most serious problems in the DH-4 design." -from the National Museum of the United States Air Force website (link previously shared by ASE contributor JonSG). Since the DH-9A was not widely used in the US, the aircraft is in fact most likely a DH-4B.


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